SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced plans to provide an update on the next-generation Starship rocket next Thursday night. The presentation comes more than two years after Musk's last update on the car in 2019.
Starship is a massive new deep-space rocket that SpaceX has been developing at the company's test site in Boca Chica, Texas, over the past few years. The fully reusable vehicle is designed to launch atop a giant booster called the Super Heavy, transporting people and cargo to distant places like the Moon and eventually Mars. So far, SpaceX has conducted several high-altitude test flights with the vehicle, but has yet to launch the Starship into orbit. The company is currently awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval to launch Starship into orbit from Boca Chica.
Since 2016, Musk has been making periodic presentations about his plans to build a giant rocket that will someday send humans into deep space and Mars. These plans have certainly changed over time, and the rocket at the heart of this endeavor has also gone through various design changes and iterations. The vehicle also went by several different names, from BFR to Mars Colonial Transporter and finally Starship. During Musk's latest update in September 2019, the CEO held his presentation in Boca Chica, standing in front of a complete Starship prototype. Musk's tweet about the new presentation says it will take place on Thursday, February 10 at 9:00 pm ET, but no other details about the event were given.
While Starship has long been Musk's favorite project, NASA also has a vested interest in the vehicle. In 2021, the space agency awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to develop Starship as a lander to carry NASA astronauts to the surface of the Moon.